Last night, Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D-Krypton) ran into a burning building to save the life of his neighbor. Booker has established his credentials not only on pushing smart legislative priorities, but also in living his life according to those same progressive values.
Last night, Booker returned home from a television interview only to find his next door neighbor’s apartment on fire. He and several members of his security detail ran into the burning building in search of its residents, who were not outside. Two were led to safety immediately before Booker ran back inside to rescue the young daughter of one resident.
Det. Alex Rodriguez, who is a member of Booker’s security team, was stationed at the mayor’s residence when the fire began, and helped evacuate several residents before the mayor arrived. Rodriguez, whose primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of the mayor, tried — unsuccessfully — to stop Booker from entering the building. Booker told the Newark Star-Ledger that at one point during the rescue, he was engulfed in flames and smoke and made peace “with the fact that I was going to jump out the window.”
Booker was hospitalized for smoke inhalation and second degree burns on his hands but was released shortly afterwards. Earlier this morning, he held a press conference to explain his thinking:
I’m a neighbor that did was most neighbors would do, which is to jump into action to help a friend. I consider all of us very lucky. There was a time when I got through the kitchen and was searching for her and looked back and saw the kitchen in flames. It was really a frightening experience for me. I didn’t think we were going to get out of there.